Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Donald Masey, PsyD

Second Advisor

Stephen Poteau, PhD

Third Advisor

Joseph Tracey, PhD, ABPP


The potential for the brain to adapt to insult or injury is demonstrated in the preservation of language functions when there is damage to the language areas (Lidzba, Staudt, Wilke, Grodd, & Krageloh-Mann, 2006). Although atypical hemispheric dominance for language is rare in the general population, rates are higher in epilepsy patients (Araujo, Schwarze, & White, 2009; Drane et al., 2012; Lidzba, Staudt, Wilke, Grodd, et al., 2006; Powell, Kemp, & Garcia-Finana, 2012; Spreer et al., 2001). Understanding this relationship and factors affecting atypicality is important for neuropsychologists in making treatment recommendations and for pre-operative planning. This study sought to understand the relationship of hemispheric dominance to the crowding hypothesis, cognitive reserve theory, and patterns on neuropsychological test data. The current literature is reviewed. Archival data from an urban hospital in southeastern Pennsylvanian was used. After accounting for inclusion and exclusion criteria, 185 participants were included in this study. Hemispheric dominance for language was not related to crowding or cognitive reserve independently. The interaction between crowding and cognitive reserve was found to be related to hemispheric dominance for language, with cognitive reserve accounting for the bulk of the effect. Nevertheless, this effect vanishes when right temporal lobe epilepsy (RTLE) versus left temporal lobe epilepsy (LTLE) patients are separated into individual samples. Hemispheric dominance was not related to discrete neuropsychological profiles. Potential explanations, implications, and limitations are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons